Adjectives of nationalities vary depending on gender in French (French Adjectives)

In French, adjectives describing nationalities change depending on the gender they refer to.

Nationalities in French

Here's how to ask people their nationality:

(informal)

Quelle est ta nationalité ?What is your nationality?

(formal)

Quelle est votre nationalité ?What is your nationality?

Look at these examples:

JULIEN:

Je suis français.I am French.

MARIE:

Je suis française.I am French.

Note that the word for the nationality changes whether the person is masculine (français) or feminine (française).

Note also that nationalities used as adjectives (as opposed to nouns, see * below) never start with a capital letter in French, unlike English.

Usually, they take an -e in the feminine form.

Je suis anglais.I am English.

Je suis anglaise.I am English.

 

Nationalities in -ian in English often become -ien in French:

Je suis italien.I am Italian.

Je suis canadien.I am Canadian.(male)

Je suis indien.I'm Indian. (male)

Je suis australien.I'm Australian.

For these nationalities ending in -ien, the feminine will be -ienne.

Je suis italienne.I am Italian.

Je suis canadienne.I am Canadian.

Je suis indienne.I'm Indian.

Je suis australienne.I'm Australian.

See also Forming the feminine of nouns and adjectives ending in "-ien/-ion/-on" in French

 

* Nationalities: adjectives versus nouns 

Nationalities used as adjectives are NOT capitalised, whereas they are capitalised when used as nouns:

Ma petite amie est canadienne.My girlfriend is Canadian.

Je connais un Canadien qui vit de l'autre côté de la rue.I know a Canadian who lives across the street.
 

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Examples and resources

Quelle est ta nationalité ?What is your nationality?
Quelle est votre nationalité ?What is your nationality?
Je suis anglais.I am English.
Je suis anglaise.I am English.
Je suis italienne.I am Italian.
Je suis français.I am French.
Je suis italien.I am Italian.
Je suis australienne.I'm Australian.
Je suis française.I am French.
Je suis canadienne.I am Canadian.
Je suis canadien.I am Canadian.(male)
Je suis indienne.I'm Indian.
Je suis indien.I'm Indian. (male)
Je suis australien.I'm Australian.
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